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US sanctions on Eritrean officials for role in Tigray deemed ‘blackmail’ by Asmara

By Morris Kiruga
Posted on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 14:20

Tigrayans protest at the White House against Ethiopia's continued war on Tigray, demanding assistance and an end to ethnic cleansing in the province on 21 August 2021. Photo by Allison Bailey/Shutterstock

The United States Treasury Department has ramped up diplomatic pressure on Eritrea over its involvement in the Tigray conflict, in a move that Asmara has equated to “blackmail.”

The United States government announced on Monday 23 August that it had imposed sanctions on General Filipos Woldeyohannes, chief of staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces, “for his connection with serious human rights abuse committed during the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia.”

Under his command, Eritrea’s forces have adopted a “scorched earth” policy in a “systematic effort to inflict as much harm on the ethnic Tigrayan population as possible” in the areas under its control, Washington said in several press statements.